I am bigger than anything that can happen to me. Sorrow and suffering, pain are outside the door. I am in the house, and I have the key.
- Charles Tumaris
I recently came across the above statement and I like it. It seems to me that so much of our anxiety in life is a vague thing concerned with our future. Will I be all right, many bad things could happen, what would I do? As I am in old age now, or at least on the threshold, these concerns multiply more than ever. And I am not so sure that I agree with the above statement, that all the bad things are outside and that I have the power to keep them there.
For that one needs more than a door and a key. Old age leads to death. And no one dies of good health. The bad things will get in the house. At that point, I need to believe in more than my fortress house. I need to believe in God; I need to believe in me.
I have incredible internal resources. I have seen these work again and again. Recently I lost a friend. He took his own life. I was sad, mad, disappointed, hurt, all the things that go with such a death. He had been faced with a difficult future, a future of huge personal changes and of not inconsiderable pain. As I look back to our talks, I can see now that he knew he did not have the internal strength to make it and, by comparison, I knew that I would have the resources to go on. He came from a terrible background and I did not. I had gifts that he simply did not have. I hope I am not excusing suicide.
We are told that God never gives us more than we can handle. I always think that whoever says that has never visited a Nazi death camp during World War II. I think, sometimes God gets pretty close to that line. But that is for God to judge. Nazi death camps and my friend are not typical.
We cannot sell ourselves short. We have resources from our family background and from a loving Father in heaven. If we cannot keep all the bad outside the house, we can let the bad things in and we can handle them; we being me, we being you and God
- Fr. James O'Leary